KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Engineering Sciences

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.

Solid Mechanics is a classic engineering science discipline, ranging from basic to applied science.  The topic can be regarded as a link between materials science and applied mechanics with emphasis on the latter. Solid Mechanics deals with the mechanical properties of materials and structures.  The research at the department is focused on computational methods, fracture mechanics, composite mechanics, contact mechanics, mechanics of materials, paper mechanics and fatigue. A primary objective of the research is to develop methods for reliable design of structures, materials, systems and processes.

Project description

Third-cycle subject: Solid mechanics

The increasing use of electric vehicles demands an intense battery development. We are seeking a PhD-student to the project “Discrete electrode particle modeling for predicting capacity degradation in lithium-ion batteries”, funded by the Swedish Energy Agency. Charging and de-charging of batteries lead to swelling and shrinking of the electrodes that may cause delamination growth, local buckling, void initiation and loss of electric contact with the current collector. The aim with this project is to develop and use a particle model of the electrode material to describe these damage mechanisms based on the Discrete Element Method (DEM). The particle model will then be used for optimizing the composition and manufacture of the electrode.

 The main part of the research will be directed towards micromechanical modelling of the particles that the electrode consists of. In the model the individual electrode particles and the binder material will be considered. By implementing electro-chemical models, the particles will swell and shrink with charging-discharging of the battery. This model will then be used for predicting different types of damage in the electrode material.

Collaboration is planned with the division of Applied Electrochemistry at KTH where the electro-chemical experiments will be performed. There is as also a close collaboration with Swedish industry and the ”Swedish Electromobility Centre”. Lithium-ion batteries is a growing research subject at the department of Solid Mechanics KTH. The research group consists of two PhD-students together with Prof. Peter Gudmundson and Dr. Erik Olsson. These two PhD projects are strongly connected to the present project and a tight collaboration between them is foreseen.

The employment refers primarily to four years with the possibility of employment for a maximum of five years. Up to 20 % departmental duties, primarily as teaching and laboratory assistant, are part of this employment.

What we offer


To be admitted to postgraduate education (Chapter 7, 39 § Swedish Higher Education Ordinance), the applicant must have basic eligibility in accordance with either of the following:

  • passed a degree at advanced level,
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 higher education credits at advanced level, or
  • in any other way acquired within or outside the country acquired essentially equivalent knowledge.


In order to succeed as an doctoral student at KTH you need to be goal oriented and persevering in your work. In the selection of the applicants, the following will be assessed:

  • ability to independently pursue his or hers work,
  • ability to collaborate with others,
  • have a professional approach and
  • analyse and work with complex issues
  • good knowledge in English is strongly desirable. Good knowledge in Swedish is advantageous.
  • knowledge and experience from computational methods and programming
  • experience from finite element calculations
  • broad knowledge in Science and Engineering and an interest in interdisciplinary problems.

Target degree: Doctoral degree

Information regarding admission and employment

Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle studies may be employed as a doctoral student. The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year and may thereafter be extended. Doctoral students may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Union representatives

You will find contact information for union representatives on KTH's website.

Doctoral section (Students’ union on KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

You will find contact information for doctoral section on the section's website.


Apply for the position and admission through KTH's recruitment system. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement.

Applications must be received at the last closing date at midnight, CET/CEST (Central European Time/entral European Summer Time).

Applications must include the following elements:

  • CV including your relevant professional experience and knowledge.
  • Application letter with a brief description of why you want to pursue research studies, about what your academic interests are and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. (Maximum 2 pages long)
  • Copy of the degree certificate(s) and transcripts of records from your previously attended university-level institutions. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents are not issued in one of these languages.
  • Representative publications or technical reports. For longer documents, please provide a summary (abstract) and a web link to the full text.

Other information

Gender equality, diversity and zero tolerance against discrimination and harassment are important aspects of KTH's work with quality as well as core values in our organization.

For information about Processing of personal data in the recruitment process please read here.

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Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement, but preferably as soon as possible
Salary Monthly salary according to KTH's doctoral student salary agreement
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number S-2019-0317
  • Erik Olsson, researcher Solid mechanics , erolsson@kth.se
Published 21.Feb.2019
Last application date 22.Mar.2019 11:59 PM CET

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